DTG printer, or Direct-to-Garment, is a relatively new technology that emerged in the 1990s. It became commercially available in 2005, but has only recently become a viable alternative to traditional production methods, but is still only offered by a handful of T-shirt printers.
As the name implies, direct-to-garment uses ink to print directly onto the fabric or item of your choice. It goes directly into the fibers of the fabric, which means you don’t feel the design or the ink when you touch it.
Advantages of direct-to-garment
Direct to Garment offers a large number of advantages over other traditional printing methods.
- Large range of color options
- Available for detailed and extensive designs
- Extremely fast process
- Can be used for both large-scale and short-term production
- Low set-up costs and ease of use
- Effective also for colored garments
- Accurate reproduction and high quality results
- Water-based, making it eco-friendly
- Digital software can be used to create designs
Disadvantages of direct garment making
- Limited to cotton garments only
- Not cost effective for mass production
- May be a little slower than other methods
- Limited design placement
Cotton garments are some of the most popular due to their various uses. This means that in addition to shirts, you can also use garments directly on things like tote bags. Cotton is also hypoallergenic, meaning it does not cause allergic reactions. It is also weatherproof, comfortable and extremely durable. This makes the limitations of cotton garments not as harmful as it may seem.
While not the most cost effective for mass production, direct garment printing is great for short-term production. It is essential for product trial runs or when you only need a few shirts or bags for business purposes such as uniforms or gifts for your clients and customers.
While it is slow, it makes up for it by being incredibly detailed and long lasting. Also, since it is not geared towards mass production, speed is usually a non-factor.
The limited design position is perhaps the only drawback that can be a decisive factor. However, unless you’re going for a unique design with an image printed on the sleeve or on the entire shirt, this usually won’t bother you.
Why should you use direct garment making?
Direct garment making specializes in highly detailed, short run production printing on cotton garments. If you run a fashion brand, or want to provide custom-made garments for an event or business, then direct to garment is a very cost-effective option that offers you a large selection of options. Since you can use digital images, this means you can easily use software to create a design, upload it to your supplier’s website, and easily print out a shirt or bag with that exact design. There is little to no loss in quality and accurate reproduction means you always get a high quality design.
The large selection of colors means you don’t have to make the compromises that other printing methods do, and the low set-up costs make it perfect for one-off production or infrequent use. Being eco-friendly, it also helps ensure that your company is green, which can be a huge factor when advertising to specific groups of people.
While direct print apparel has its limitations, it is an effective option for high-quality promotional apparel when the right garments and quantities are available.
If you would like to learn more about DTG Printing and the services offered by SunBlue Print, please contact us.